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During a normal Sunday in Islay, almost everything is closed so it is advisable to make some provisions the day before unless you are not staying in Bowmore. Sundays in Islay are normally very quiet, but not the Bruichladdich open day! First of all, it was a very sunny day and secondly, it was the Bruichladdich open day!

The Laddie team applauding the athletes Are they in a rush for a dram or? It was Bruichladdich open day or the South is Invading the North?

We had patiently to wait for the athlets running the 10 km separating Bridgend and Bruichladdich before enjoying the festivites, With the strong sun, I am sure the crowd got very thirsty!

As soon as the gate opened, the nice flavours of oysters, grilled hamburgers and of the Laddie drinks stimulated our sensory receptors !

The barbecue wagon The Islay Oysters Bar was moving of distillery every day. At Bruichladdich, the Bruichladdich Ten went very well with the taste of the islay oysters .

The Bruichladdich distillery disposition is ideal for an event, with only two accesses to the distillery and a big open courtyard in the middle. All the big bosses (and owners) of Bruichladdich (Murray MacDavid) were present during this open day to celebrate a very special event, since Bruichladdich was awarded the Queen's Award!

Lord lieutnant Kenneth MacKinnon chatting (about the nice Islay weather ?) with Jim McEwan Sir John Mactaggart and Duncan watching with pride the flag of the Queen's award's is hoisted by Lord lieutenant MacKinnon.

After that very special and unique moment, attention goes back to the music and the whiskies!

In Islay, they don't have only superb whiskies, but also a fantastic (Islay) pipe band! The tunes were excellent and I would not have minded if they had played a bit more! Just a sample of bottles available from the bar (but not at a bargain price: £35 for a dram of Murray MacDavid Springbank 1965!).

Fortunately, you got 2 drams of Bruichladdich ten with your £5 entry!

The favourite singer of Jim McEwan, Norma Munro.

If you see her at a whisky festival, watch for the Laddie Master (Jim McEwan)!

I spent an excellent Sunday in Bruichladdich under a nice sun and in a kind of magic atmosphere with diverse entertainments ongoing all the time and the best musicians around.Things could not be have been better during the Feis Ile!

Just before leaving, I made a tour to the shop to buy a valinch of Queen's award Valinch, a special bottling for that particular day (almost all the 344 bottles got sold during that very same day!). Although the spirit was stored for 16 years in a refill sherry cask, the colour was very dark, as if the spirit came from a first fill cask. The whisky was deliciously balanced, clean and fresh, with a sherry influence in equilibrium with the typical fruity and grape characteristics of Bruichladdich. It was just a pity that there was only one small cask of this admirable and complex dram!

Award well granted!